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Private companies selling hearing aids to people with hearing impediments are regulated by the Hearing Aid Council Act 1968, as modified in 1989. The Act makes it a statutory requirement that hearing aids may only be sold by a dispenser who is suitably qualified and who is registered with the Hearing Aid Council (HAC)—which was established by the Act to set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for individuals and companies involved in the assessment of hearing loss and subsequent sale of hearing aids in the private sector.
Following the Hampton Review of Regulators, the Hearing Aid Council is due to be abolished and its regulatory functions transferred to the Health Professions Council (HPC). This is currently due to occur by March 2010.